The victorious Tigers thank their loyal supporters
Next Sunday will be a treat for Balmain fans as the first grade team joined the reserves in the Grand Final after a late, late winner in Sunday’s elimination semi-final against the Sydney Cedars. The Tigers began the game on fire and should have taken the lead inside of three minutes when Dan Hanusek, Julian Bracewell, and Vinnie Leonard took part in a world record triple scuff with the gaping goal at their mercy. A couple of minutes later Leonard fizzed a cross through the crowded penalty area, narrowly avoiding everyone’s head, as well as the back post, by a matter of inches. Unfortunately for the spectators, these proved to be the only telling chances of the first half for either team as the game metamorphised into a midfield arm wrestle. The tight nature of the contest continued in the second half as the rain began to bucket down. The Tigers midfield and defence held firm against the Cedars, denying them a decent shot at goal apart from the odd set piece. Then with time all but up, the referee awarded Balmain a free kick around 5cm outside the Cedars penalty area. Up stepped Jake Flower to guide the ball through a mass of Cedars defenders and into the corner to clinch the win for the Tigers.
For those who missed the game, or those who would like to relive the glory, you can view footage of the goal here. We also have several photos from the match in the gallery.